Mini-stroke stroke patients are usually treated with anti-platelet drugs that prevent blood clots from forming. Scroll down to know about other treatment options.
Did You Know?
Usually, the symptoms cease to exist by the time medical help arrives. So, the primary aim of treatment is to investigate the causes and prevent recurrence of stroke.
Mini-stroke, refers to a condition in which a specific area in the brain is deprived of blood supply for a short duration. The brain damage that occurs due to temporary cut in blood circulation is reversible and hence the person completely recovers from this condition within 24 hours. In most cases, the symptoms do not last for more than 2 hours. Unusual feeling of numbness on the facial area that may spread to the legs and the arms has often been reported by mini-stroke patients. This may be followed by dizziness, inability to talk properly (slurred speech) and vision problems.
Poorly managed diabetes or high blood pressure can also cause formation of temporary blood clots in the brain, leading to mini-stroke. So, taking the necessary steps to control the underlying medical condition can go a long way in preventing future episodes of mini-strokes. However, the medication that may be given in case the symptoms persist are given below:
As formation of blood clots is primarily responsible for disturbances in blood supply to the brain, drugs that prevent development of blood clots are prescribed. Existing clots also do not increase in size and may dissolve if the medicines given below are taken on a daily basis.
Anti-platelet Drugs: The blood cells of our body contain substances known as platelet that promote blood clotting. These drugs interfere with platelet function and do not allow the blood to clot. Thus, in a way they help to prevent formation of thrombosis. Following are the anti-platelet drugs recommended to treat transient ischemic attack:
Anticoagulants: To prevent future episodes of blood clotting, instead of anti-platelet drugs, doctor may prescribe anticoagulants. As the name suggests, the drugs stop coagulation (a process that restricts blood flow by forming semisolid lumps). The patient may be treated with anticoagulants given below:
A surgical procedure known as carotid endarterectomy (CEA), may be required to remove blockage from the arteries that do the job of transporting blood to the brain. This obstruction in the arteries is nothing but accumulation of cholesterol and plaque (type of fat). The build up of fat deposits makes the arteries narrow and hard. In order to restore blood circulation to the brain, these fat deposits from the arteries that pass through the neck area are removed. Thus, unclogging the neck arteries is the primary goal of this surgery.
Adopting healthy lifestyle modifications is equally important to stop blood clots from happening in the long run. A sedentary lifestyle can predispose a person to recurring mini-stroke attacks. A well-balanced healthy diet (free from fatty foods) complemented with a 30 minute light exercise such as brisk walking can ensure normal blood supply without interruption to the brain. To be more precise, a diet that does not elevate cholesterol and blood pressure levels has to be followed. This is because too much cholesterol or high blood pressure may leave the patient in the risk zone of recurrent mini-stroke. Also, intake of too much alcohol and smoking are some of the factors that increase the risk of mini-stroke attacks, and therefore staying away from these unhealthy habits is recommended.
In some cases, the symptoms resolve after a day or two, yet one should not ignore to seek medical advice. From a health standpoint, it is of prime importance to consult a doctor and make him aware of all the necessary symptoms that you had been experiencing in the last 24 hours. The person should also undergo all the necessary tests that evaluate the brain function. Keep in mind that mini-stroke is due to a small blood clot, which needs to be removed (if it does not dissolve on its own) at the earliest to prevent the occurrence of a regular stroke in the future. Mini-stroke is said to be a precursor to a major stroke but can be avoided if timely treatment is taken and all the precautionary measures as instructed by the doctor are followed to the T. So, no matter how small the duration of mini-stroke symptoms is, get a health check up done as soon as possible.
A point to note here is that Warfarin or Heparin treatment is applicable only for patients with mini-stroke and cannot be used to treat stroke patients. This is because a stroke is the result of a ruptured blood vessel that causes bleeding in the brain. One of the common side effects associated with intake of anticoagulants is bleeding, and so it is not feasible to administer Warfarin to stroke patients. People with kidney or liver problems should also stay away from anticoagulants.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.